, Volume 51, Issue 9, pp 1559-1566
Date: 19 Jul 2008

Congenital rubella: citation virus or viral cause of type 1 diabetes?

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There is something worse than ignorance, and that’s knowing what ain’t so

Mark Twain

Mind parasites

A mind parasite is an invisible assumption that enters the mind unnoticed and occupies the mental dimension more properly reserved for curiosity. Few mind parasites are more deeply embedded in the collective psyche of the diabetes investigator than the vaguely formulated belief that virus infection is a cause of type 1 diabetes. The arguments for this are collectively impressive but individually insubstantial, and the hypothesis hangs together much as a man might attempt to cross a half-frozen river by jumping from one ice floe to the next before the first gives way beneath him. There is indeed an extensive literature to prove that viruses produce diabetes in experimental animals, but no one has ever shown how this relates—other than by analogy—to type 1 diabetes, a condition found only in humans. Much of the human evidence is such that only those who want to believe will do so, but the hyp ...